|Sunday 20th June 2021. Summer Series Race 6, 7 & 8. Race officer: Marcus Kimmings, w/Gareth Luker. Patrol Boat: Anne & Nick Cook. Beach Master: Tom Rawlings|
F2 to F3 to F1 S/S/W
Three races, three different sets of conditions, almost uncannily different and discrete. And a little light on numbers, perhaps falling victim to poor general weather conditions as much as the North Devon D18 open meeting which deprived us of five regular racing crews. But for all that, a good few hours of racing, with the weather finally deciding to oblige with sunny warmth, just to make the long haul over the low-tide sweaty and disagreeable. Not an easy prospect for Marcus and colleagues in the race box too, with variable conditions making course setting tricky.
R1 was a steady, light-wind affair, requiring skill, personal courage and rugged handsomeness to succeed, especially in a D18. The course was a little short for the conditions, set as it was for lighter winds, but this required exquisite handling skills and tactical nous etc etc blah blah you get the picture, I actually won a race for a change, benefiting from a miraculous start and David Goodwin/Vasco (sorry Vasco, don't have your surname) getting fouled up with Gilbert, and then my just about holding them off. And, whose to say, of course those North Devon sailors may have just squeaked in front of me.. In other news, Andy Ruffer again triumphed in his Laser, with Josh/Noah (Feva) close behind - the short course did them few favours they could barely get their spinnaker up before having to haul it down. Chris Halfknight sat on his tiller extension and broke it. In the other catamaran class, John Cooper/Neil Innes (D16), despite traveller issues, were able to hold off the challenge of Graham Sewell (D15) and triumph.
R2 saw the second chapter of conditions, the wind almost getting to f3 at times. Marcus lengthened the course and we had a couple of great upwind legs, even needing to trapeze at times. Normal service was resumed with Dave/Vasco laughably far ahead in the D18s. The remaining D18s had a good competition, particularly Keith and myself. The same sequence occurred in the handicapped cats with John/Neil keeping ahead of Graham. In the monos, Matt Crawley pipped Andy Ruffer.
The wind largely deserted us in R3 which gave us a painful drift, with just enough to get us out to the windward mark and back. Unerringly, the better sailors were able to master this, so Dave/Vasco, Andy, and John/Neil still managed to win their races.
We then had a slog over the rocks at low-tide
Congratulations to Rob/Fi (1st) and Caleb/Chloe (3rd) and other WSC crews at North Devon.